World Wetlands Day 2001: Uganda

02/02/2001

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Launching of the Uganda Wetlands Sector Strategic Plan 2001-2010 and Commemoration of the 30th Anniversary of the Ramsar Convention

[Agenda paper provided by Uganda's National Wetlands Programme. See below for later reports.]

30th Anniversary of the Ramsar Convention

During the past ten years the National Wetlands Programme has served as a model for developing wetland management capacity at all levels in society. In particular, the NWP has been successfully experimenting with the concept of ‘wise-use’, in fulfilment of Article 3.2 of the Convention on Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar, Iran 1971), to which Uganda is a signatory. The ‘wise-use’ concept iuganda-nwp.jpg (22903 bytes)s the cornerstone of wetland management and conservation under the Convention.

2nd February of every year marks the anniversary of the signing of the Convention. The day was declared World Wetlands Day in 1996. The theme for 2001 is ‘Wetlands World. A World to Discover’.

Being a contracting Party to the Convention, Uganda is expected to join the rest of the world community to commemorate World Wetlands Day. The work done in Uganda on wetlands management has been recognised by the Ramsar Bureau, and it has been proposed that the international celebrations marking the 30th anniversary are being held in Uganda.

Since both the launching of the Wetlands Sector Strategic Plan and the 30th anniversary of the Ramsar Convention coincide, the two events have been combined into a Uganda Wetlands Week.

The Uganda Wetlands Week

Objectives

The overall objective of the UWW is to secure the necessary national and international moral, political and financial support for wetlands activities at a global level and for the implementation of the SWIP in Uganda for the next ten years.

The following outputs are expected:

  • Increased awareness amongst the global population about the Ramsar Convention, its work and the importance of wetlands for global prosperity and sustainable development;
  • Increased awareness amongst Uganda population and decision makers about the importance of wetlands for prosperity and poverty eradication in the country;
  • Increased awareness amongst the national and international donor community about the work of the National Wetlands Programme in Uganda, its successes and challenges for the next decade;
  • Full knowledge amongst the donor community about the Strategic Wetlands Investment Plan 2001-2010, and an outlook on financing of the plan by a variety of local and international financiers.

Approach

The UWW will be an international event, attracting the wetland movers and shakers from all over the world. In addition, it is intended to attract major decision-makers and donors in Uganda. This requires support from the highest office in the country, and a well-organised week with a series of interesting activities that appeal to all the target groups.

To give due attention to both the Ramsar objectives and the WSSP objectives, one full day will be set aside for each of them. The 2nd of February will be fully devoted to the Ramsar celebrations, including morning excursions to unique wetland sites, and an afternoon symposium on the theme Wetlands World … a World to Discover. The donor consultative meeting will be held on the 1st of February, with a presentation of the new plan, and keynote addresses by the GoU and various donors.

International exposure of the UWW will be acquired through providing ample time to press conferences, and inviting local and international news agencies and others to produce and broadcast wetland features on International Networks.

Local attention to the UWW will be given through a series of local events, newspaper and TV coverage, and distribution of information materials.

 Programme

Day Activity
Monday 29 January 2001 Launching of the Uganda Wetlands Awareness week
Marching through K’la streets
Tuesday 30 January 2001 Awareness activities
Wednesday 31 January 2001 Opening of the wetland exhibition
Public debate
Thursday 1 February 2001 Official launching of Strategic Plan
Donors consultative meeting
International Press Conference
Friday 2 February 2001 – am Canoe regatta and bird watching at Lutembe Bay
Bird watching at Mabamba Bay
Friday 2 February 2001 – pm Wetland Symposium
Reception/cocktail and commemoration of 30 years of Ramsar (with fireworks depicting papyrus)
Saturday 3 February 2001 Visit Lake Nabugabo (proposed Ramsar site)
Craft bazaar at Kyojja craft centre
Sunday 4 February 2001 Visit Lake George Ramsar site

Participants

In order to arrive at the expected results, the Uganda Wetlands Week will bring together representative from line ministries, local and international donors and partners in development, NGOs, academic and research institutions as well as the private sector.


Address by Mr Delmar Blasco, Kampala, 1 February: "Launching the Wetlands Sector Strategic Plan 2001-2010 for Uganda"

Photos

Address by Mr Blasco, Lutembe Bay Wetlands, 2 February: "Uganda and World Wetlands Day"

Photos

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Number of » Contracting Parties: 168 Sites designated for the
» List of Wetlands of
International Importance
2,181 Total surface area of designated sites (hectares): 208,545,658

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